Sunday, October 24

The PP warns that it will be “almost impossible” to renew the Judiciary if the Government pardons the ‘procés’ prisoners | Spain

The PP is preparing to give a new twist to the strategy of frontal opposition to the Government of Pedro Sánchez if the council of ministers finally approves the pardons to the 12 convicted ‘procés’ leaders, nine of them in prison. The popular warn that they will go “to the last consequences” to avoid the measure of grace and if it occurs they will appeal it to the Supreme Court, which could cause problems for the Government because the high court years ago opened the way in several sentences to annul pardons if they are not duly justified. The leadership of the PP rules out protests in the street so as not to give wings to Vox.

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The relationship between the Government and the PP goes through one of the worst moments after the victory of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid, but it can still get worse. The leadership of Pablo Casado has read those elections as the beginning of a change in the political cycle in his favor and believes that he has to squeeze in the strategy of attrition to the Executive on all possible fronts to consolidate the fall of the PSOE that the latest polls point to. . Casado has already proclaimed that the legislature has entered “a dead end” after May 4, and now places the possible granting of pardons to the independence leaders as the “red line that Pedro Sánchez should not cross”, and that if he crosses it will mean that the legislature “will have finished”, according to the leader of the PP. Although management sources specify that this does not mean that the PP is going to break all the bridges with the Government, they do recognize that if that happens there will be a before and after in the already battered relationship.

The PP has issued the warning to the Government with overtones of threat. The person in charge of doing so was Pablo Casado’s most trusted man on Monday, the secretary general, Teodoro García Egea, who has also led the main negotiations with La Moncloa, now in a stalemate. “If the Government, against the Prosecutor’s Office or the courts, grants a pardon, the PP will go to the Supreme Court and to the last consequences so that this does not occur,” García Egea warned. The party focuses on the leaders of the process, imprisoned for three and a half years, have not shown regret and will insist on the idea that the grace measure is the political price that Sánchez pays to the pro-independence parties for his inauguration, in which ERC abstained and Junts per Catalunya voted against. In the leadership of the PP they believe that for Sánchez that decision would have a lot of wear and tear and they even doubt that he will do so.

The PP will launch a legal and political offensive in case the Government finally decides to take the delicate step of granting pardons. The popular will appeal to the Supreme Court the measure of grace, which opens a way for the high court to annul the decision if it understands that it is not duly justified, a possibility that can be given especially when there are contrary reports – as will foreseeably occur in this case – of the Prosecutor’s Office and the trial court.

The president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart;  the general secretary of JxCat, Jordi Sànchez;  the president of ERC and former vice-president of the Generalitat, Oriol Junqueras, and the new president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, during the inauguration of the latter.
The president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart; the general secretary of JxCat, Jordi Sànchez; the president of ERC and former vice-president of the Generalitat, Oriol Junqueras, and the new president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, during the inauguration of the latter.Alberto Estévez / EFE

The consequences will be primarily political. The PP warns that a measure like this will “break trust” with the Government and that this may affect, according to management sources, issues such as the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary, which has been with him for more than two and a half years. expired mandate. In reality, the relationship between La Moncloa and the PP has deteriorated since the victory of the right in the Madrid elections, and that issue is deadlocked, but these sources assume that if pardons are approved, the possibility of any agreement “is almost impossible.”

What the PP does not want is to repeat mistakes of the past, and it rules out promoting demonstrations or protests in the streets, such as the photo of Colón that brought together PP, Ciudadanos and Vox in February 2019 against the existence of a negotiation between the central Executive and the Catalan Government.

The popular believe that such actions only benefit the extreme right. “Calling a demonstration so that Abascal later appears and they applaud him does not make much sense,” says a leader of the dome. When Casado warns that the legislature will be exhausted, he does not think about presenting a motion of censure, sources from his environment need, but in any case the opposition will be through legal means and in Parliament, not in the streets. In the Catalan PP they opt for prudence. “The steps we take are important and we have to reflect on them very well,” says a relevant leader.

If the government goes ahead with the pardons, it can expect a political earthquake. Casado has already avoided closing ranks with Sánchez in the diplomatic crisis with Morocco over the Ceuta border, and all his last steps are in the line of confrontation. Some sources of the PP point with discomfort as an example of this strategy of permanent shock what happened in the Commission of investigation on the Spanair accident of 2008 last week. The leadership decided to support some conclusions that blame the government of the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, when in the parliamentary group there were voices that believed that it was pointless to target political leaders for that plane accident.

A resource with legal difficulties

Although the Government has full competence to approve the pardons, several years ago the Supreme Court opened the way in several sentences to annul the decisions of the Executive if it understands that they are not duly justified. In that reading it is important that there are contrary reports, as will happen in this case with that of the Prosecutor’s Office and the sentencing Court. However, the Supreme Court has to accept the appeal of the PP and it is not clear that it does so because according to jurisprudence, only whoever has been a party to the judicial procedure can appeal (in this case, Vox could do so).

The Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, whose proposal the Council of Ministers will resolve the grace measure, asked yesterday that the instrument of pardons be seen with “naturalness”, whether they are favorable or not or if they are ” total or partial ”.

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